The Royal Melbourne Hospital is proud to be a major partner and host to the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit, the first of its kind in Australia

The Mobile Stroke Unit (MSU) is a fully-equipped, custom-built specialist Ambulance Victoria vehicle that comes equipped with a built-in CT scanner and carries acute stroke personnel. It can perform hospital grade brain scans (including angiographic studies) in a pre-hospital or community-based setting. The MSU team consists of two paramedics (including one Mobile Intensive Care MICA paramedic), a CT radiographer, a stroke neurologist and a stroke nurse specialist.

With a stroke, every minute counts, and the best way to treat patients faster, is to “bring the hospital to the patient”

The MSU will be dispatched by Ambulance Victoria to attend to patients with suspected stroke within 20 kilometres of the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. MSU staff will be able to assess, scan and offer immediate treatment to stroke patients right on their doorsteps. Patients that receive treatment will then be monitored and transported by the MSU to their nearest stroke hospital.

Mobile Stroke Units have dramatically reduced the time that patients wait to receive treatment. Almost 50 per cent of patients are able to be treated within the first 60 minutes of their stroke starting. This gives patients the best chance to recover and minimises the amount of irreversible brain damage.

The MSU will carry a full range of stroke treatment drugs, including blood clot-dissolving medications and drugs designed to halt bleeding into the brain. The vehicle also carry exciting new research medications that aim to improve outcome from both bleeding and clotting strokes. Eligible patients may be asked to participate in these cutting edge trials.

The Mobile Stroke Unit project is chaired by Professor Stephen Davis (Department of Neurology) and Professor Geoffrey Donnan (Director of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health). This initiative is a collaboration between Ambulance Victoria, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, National Stroke Foundation, RMH Neuroscience Foundation, Victorian Government and the NHMRC.